Supreme Court Struggles Over Broad Jurisdictional Rule in Ford Crash Cases


Professor Howard Erichson was quoted in Reuters, sharing his expert opinion on the Supreme Court product liability cases against Ford.

During oral arguments Wednesday in a pair of product liability cases against Ford, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rather heatedly described the court’s dilemma in confronting personal jurisdiction in the internet age.

The Supreme Court’s seminal ruling on the intersection of personal jurisdiction and due process fairness for defendants was 1945’s International Shoe v. State of Washington, in which the justices held that corporations can be sued in states where they conduct significant business “according to our traditional conception of fair play and substantial justice.”

“I don’t know which way it’s going to go,” said Fordham law professor Howard Erichson. “Maybe this is not the case for redefining personal jurisdiction.”

Erichson wrote in a pre-argument blog post that Ford was offering the court “an aggressive but superficially plausible reading” of the Supreme Court’s recent precedent restricting jurisdiction.

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